ORLANDO, Fla. –
The mother of a 14-year-old Missouri boy who died while walking on a 131-meter drop tower at a theme park in Florida said her son’s death was preventable.
Nekia Dodd, Tire Sampson’s mother, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired Tuesday morning. “So as an operator it’s your duty to check those rides, you know. The video I’ve seen, that’s unfinished. And if it’s done, it has to be done. more than once, you know.”
Dodd and the boy’s father filed a lawsuit in state court in Orlando on Monday against the vehicle’s owner, manufacturer and landlord, alleging that they were negligent and failed to provide a pleasant ride. play safe.
The lawsuit claims the defendants failed to warn Sampson, who is 6 feet-2 inches (188 cm) tall and 380 pounds (172 kg), of the risks when someone of his size rides in the vehicle. It also claims that they did not provide a proper restraint system when riding.
Tire’s father, Yarnell Sampson, told NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday that the family was dealing with the boy’s death “every day, every second, every minute.” He said he hopes legal action can make a difference in the industry so that no other parent has to suffer.
While most freefalls have shoulder straps and seat belts, the Orlando Freefall only has shoulder straps. The lawsuit states that adding seat belts to the vehicle’s 30 seats would cost $660.
At the time of the March 24 crash, Sampson was on spring break, from the St. Louis came to visit.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the teen’s family, said the defendants in the case “showed negligence in many ways.”
“From vehicle and seat manufacturers and installers to owners and operators, defendants have too many opportunities to exercise protective measures, such as belting,” Crump said. safe, can prevent Tire’s death.
An attorney for the vehicle’s owner, Orlando Slingshot, said the company is continuing to cooperate with state investigators into what happened. “We reiterate that all protocols, procedures and safety measures provided by the vehicle manufacturer have been followed,” Attorney Trevor Arnold said in an emailed statement.
A spokesman for the homeowner, ICON Park, was not immediately available for comment on the lawsuit.
Last week, an initial report by outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture said the sensors on the ride had been manually adjusted to double the size of the opening for the rails on the two seats. , which resulted in Sampson not being kept safe before he slipped out and fell to his death.
The Orlando Free Fall ride, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty, did not experience any electrical or mechanical failures, the report said.
The report said there were many other “potential contributors” to the crash and the need for a complete review of the vehicle’s design and operation.